Grocery Store Etiquette: Get It. 07.31.2013

I know, there are no rules for grocery shopping, but there should be.  I throw myself into a frantic tizzy at the thought of going into the store by pre-experiencing all sorts of injustices and while I'm there, my Indian skin burns hot with rage as I experience aforementioned injustices.  I had to take a valium just to write this post; that's how intense my grocery store issues are. This post is part-Wednesday-post and part working-through-issues-in-therapy.  Sooo...let's get started!

1.  Do Not Stand Too Close To Me

For years now, I've wondered why there isn't a demarkation between the person who is checking out and the person right behind that person.  We live in a civilized society and yet there is nothing to indicate a person must wait at a suitable distance behind the paying person?? We can put a man on the moon but not THIS?!  It's insanity!  Allow me to describe in detail what happens to me (and perhaps it happens to you, too?):

I am checking out my groceries like a normal person.  The person behind me with his or her cart buts up against me.  In. My. Business.  What, I ask, is the hurry?  Why do you need to stand right next to me?  Why do you keep bumping your cart into me?

So this is what I've started doing:  instead of pushing my cart in front, I pull it behind me, thereby allowing ample personal space between myself and the person behind me, who is clearly irritated that I've got my cart between him/her and getting his/her crap on the checkout counter.  

My proposal, which should be obvious:  a bright yellow line indicating where you must WAIT until you can move your cart forward and place your crap on the checkout counter.  

2.  I Need To Make My Purchases And Leave.  Now.

I hate shopping. I know, you are shocked.  But I hate it.  I detest being in any kind of store.  All I want to do is go in, get my stuff, and get out as fast as I can.  And you know what gets in the way of me doing that at grocery stores?  Clerks who are chatty with each other.

There is a high-end grocery store in my neighborhood and I am appalled at how unprofessional the clerks are.  I know, I know:  there is some serious shit going down in Syria, the economy is not fully recovered, we have no idea if Brody is guilty, and oh-fer-godsake DETROIT has filed for bankruptcy.  It's bad out there.  I shouldn't be complaining about clerks having a little fun, but I am and I will.  

I am in your store to make purchases.  It is YOUR job to ensure that I get the hell out of your store to make room for more customers.  I cannot stand it when I show up in a checkout line and there is a pause while checkout clerks chat about their evening plans or whatever.  I do not care.  Just get me the hell out of the store.  PLEASE.

My proposal, which should be obvious:  Do. Your. Job.  FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

3.  Can't We Just All Shop Together?

Your shopping trip to the grocery is just as important as mine.  I get it.  But get your cart out of my way.  Please.  I would like everyone to find a way to move about the store without leaving his/her cart obstructing other shoppers.  It's rude.  

My proposal, which should be obvious:  If you're going to browse (which I do not get), park your cart off to the side, out of the way of customers moving to and fro.  Please.  

4.  I Don't Want to Know What You're Talking About

Cell phones.  In grocery stores.  People don't understand how incredibly obnoxious and loud they sound talking on their cell phones in grocery stores.  I know this is a no-win for me, but if I don't say something now, I will regret my silence later. People having non-food conversations in grocery stores sound like idiots.  Really.  

When my phone rings in the store, I look to see who it is and IF it is my husband, I answer it because I know he's calling to let me know we need three heads of garlic, not two.  And that's important shit.  But if my girlfriend is calling?  I will not pick up.  My mom?  Not. Picking. Up.  If it's urgent she'll call back or she'll call Eric and he'll call me to tell me what a crap daughter I am for not picking up in the first place.  But you will not find me walking through the grocery store chatting about non-grocery list issues.  Ever. 

My proposal, which should be obvious:  Do not answer the phone. Unless it's someone adding items to your grocery list. 

5.  Be Nice to People.

This really should be obvious.  We are in this place of abundance, a place of nurturing.  We can be rude to each other and to the people who work in this amazing place:  the grocery.  Quit it.  

Everyone shopping the grocery has probably had a day like yours and everyone working there isn't getting paid a whole lot or having all that much fun and likely has a second (or third) job:  so be nice.  Be civil.  Be kind.  It doesn't take a lot.  If you don't think that's worth something, then you are a douche bag.

My proposal, which should be obvious:  Don't be an ass.  Be considerate of other shoppers.  When someone at a store asks how you are doing, answer, and then ask him/her how he/she is doing.  And always thank store employees for a good job.  Don't you wish someone did that for you?    

Happy (and brief) shopping all!

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